Prebuffing

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Prebuffing

Postby Waterd103 » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:24 am

I was checking the wizard spells planned, and I see a too high amount of prebuffing possible. I know it still limited but I want to address the problems with full prebuffing and even this partial allowed prebuff.
Im against prebuffing because it's a hassle mainly, but also which rewards previous knowledge of the game. (making reruns less fun)

I want this thread to talk about it but i will try to answer the common pro prebuffing comments and why I think aren't good.

a) Prebuffing allows you deal with ambushes:
This is the one i hate the most. The point of ambush is that is a surprise, really prebuffing your party because you are going to be ambushed, removes the whole point of it. You already know exactly what the ambush is and then you prebuff to deal with it (I'm going to be assaulted by fireballs so I prebuff with protection from fire). Even if you know about the ambush for real (be either reload, rerun, or faq) your characteres don't and they have no reason to PREPARE for the ambush.

In KOTC ambushes are among the hardest fights in the game. True, but in part is because those are very hard fights regardless of ambush.

b) Prebuffing reduce the impact of initiative:
I will start saying that this is one of the better arguments.
However the problem of initiative generally comes two-fold.
The first is the polarized spells that are a problem. The most common problem are instant death spells and death ward. That is a popular example. let's start by saying that instant death spells are stupid and a problem. Because your only answer is Death ward. And you can't really handle the problem in any other way. If someone use stoneskin, you can try to dispel it, or you can try to get through it with damage, or you can just ignore the target until you kill everything else. Against death casters or people with those arrows. The only answer to the problem is Mass death ward (unless there is only one death user, then killing it is generally better). So it's spell and it's answer are very polarized. Here is another example, in a battle where there are fire dragons, you can cast protection from fire, whoever that will only protect you against that particular monster (And only one attack of that monster), or you can cast something like stoneskin which will also protect you from that but has more general uses.

I think polarized spells that are So brutal that you save against them or lose the battle are not good to have. But I guess people Like to have this instant death spells or Control spells. Then the answer is then prebuffing for countering those spells? I say Give clerics and paladins an death ward aura and protection from evil aura, and call it a day, because if you can prebuff, that's whats you gonna do mostly.
I think Polarized spells,those that you get no negative effects or die/get controlled, are dangerous and there should be talk about them. But overall I don't think their existence should justify prebuffing.

The other problem is setting up defenses. I agree that if one of your chars die without ever acting is a problem. However, this is mostly a problem of wizards. For that reason I approve things as Mage armor. But Mage Armor is a very general defense that is gonna be usefull for every battle. However the idea that your Mage will be a walking armored, blurred, stonskined, with 4 walking illusions that is harder to take out than a tank, seems odd and unsettling to me. If the caster is so weak that he needs to cast defensive spells every battle or die, then im ok with adding him something like mage armor. Im ok with the Mage sacrificing time during battle to become harder to kill than a tank. But if that is the starter attributes, it troubles me. Most RPGs I played with prebuffing, should be no surprise that casters are the most powerful thing (specially clerics that allow his whole team be a walking protected wall) at the point that soloing those games is pretty easy by prebuffing yourself to monster levels.
More important, it forces you to be extra carefull with what spells you can prebuff with because, suddenly they aren't spells, they aren't things you CAST on yourself to overcome a situation. They become FEATS for those casters (and it's allies if it can be casted on allies).

Playing KOTC I never had a problem with initation overall. I liked to have initate but when I didn't it wasn't the end. In my last run, the only point I almost feel overwhelmed was on the final lich fight, where True resurrection solved all my problems. I think initiation is not a problem, as long as you come back from the situations, and the only 2 situations that are hard to comeback are controlled and death before true resurrection. Nauseated could be a problem too. But even then I found solutions most of the time. The most fun thing I did in the last run is after 2 of my chars were controlled by a balor, I separated my 2 remaining characters from the rest of the team with Stone walls, until the time run out.
Anyway I may make a thread about these kind of spells. While control creature mechanics in polarized way is fun to some, most games have it a too strong version that is OP or to whimp version that is too weak, as it's a very hard spell to balance. But this is story for another time.

c) Some spells are too weak if not allowed to prebuff:
This may be true, but is not important. You just make those spells stronger. But really in KOTC I think i used many called weak spells and I think they are strong. I think bull strenght is good in combat, the only reason I stopped using it is that it doesnt stack with almost anything and you generally have stronger things that give strength, but it was not related to not being allowed to prebuff.
So the solution to this is"you make the spells stronger" if that actually happens.

I think KOTC dispelled any doubt that no prebuffing is overall a better experience.
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Prebuffing

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Re: Prebuffing

Postby BlueSalamander » Sun Mar 25, 2012 12:31 pm

A couple of comments first:

- There isn't any permanent 'protection from energy' spell nor any permanent 'death ward' spell in the KotC2 lists.

- Most of the prebuffing spells are personal-only and there will be an option for a character to auto-cast all or some of his prebuffing spells whenever resting.

I say Give clerics and paladins a death ward aura and protection from evil aura, and call it a day, because if you can prebuff, that's whats you gonna do mostly.
That's exactly what happens in NWN 2 Mask of the Betrayer. You get permanent death ward from several items, making you safe from many spells while the enemy is vulnerable.

My Wizard list does contain the level-8 personal spell Mind Blank, with a permanent duration and gold cost 250. Do you think that's not a good idea?

the idea that your Mage will be a walking armored, blurred, stonskined, with 4 walking illusions that is harder to take out than a tank, seems odd and unsettling to me.
I don't know. The armour bonus, you could get it from bracers or some other magic item. Blur is only 20% concealment so it's a marginal effect. Mirror Image is very nice, but does not seem odd to me. Traditionally wizards have the ability to create duplicate images of themselves. And monsters only have to hit the wizard a few times for the effect to disappear. Stoneskin is just damage reduction, with the difference that it disappears after it has soaked the maximum amount of damage. All these effects can be removed in combat using a dispel targeted at the wizard.

However, I now think that Greater Stoneskin is too much. I'll change the duration to 'until end of combat'.

I separated my 2 remaining characters from the rest of the team with Stone walls, until the time run out.
Ahah, good idea.
'Say there is a chunk of meat. Pirates will have a banquet and eat it! But heroes will share it with other people. I want all the meat!!' - Luffy in One Piece
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